The Essential Classical Liberal Critique is as follows: Beware the creation of a ‘complete safety’ culture. Such a culture only pretends to that omniscience necessary to the task and hence deserving of the authority. Wishful thinking and all the good intentions in the world will not make up for the fact that human understanding is only partial – at best – nor change the reality that history is ruled by irony.
Excessive efforts in the direction of utopia will only succeed in the manufacture of dystopian conditions. More than that, the promise of utopia will be employed by those seeking to mask and enable their development of tyrannical systems of control.
This critique forms the basis of the Alt positions, Left and Right. The essence of the Alt positions is this arch skepticism as regards authority. Differences among the general Alt-grouping concern how exactly this authority is conceived.
At its purest form, the Alt position is incapable of social development beyond the tribal level, as anything larger than a tribal structure becomes alienated, thus false and tending toward tyrannical idealism. Pure Alt is Anarchy, and all anarchy is tribal, however exactly the tribe is defined.
Astrologically and alchemically, it is Mercury. In the Islamic theory of knowledge, it is the individual knowing intellect – the intellect that must know for itself, if it is going to know at all. To be alienated is to be divorced from one’s knowing intellect, and thus to fall to a false consciousness and a false conscience – the adoption of a worldview and sense of self by transmission from mistaken authorities.
Political fragmentation is achieved by trapping people within a dysfunctional approach to their own capacity for understanding. Thus, it is possible to imagine the motivation of a Conspiracy behind both FOX and MSNBC, and for that matter CNN. This is the Conspiracy that unfolds its authority by making people unable to think. These are the networks of False Consciousness and False Conscience, deluding their viewers about the state of their own alienation.
The King, as represented by the tri-consonantal root MLK, is the figure, ideally speaking, who unifies all of the divergent worldviews, and allows for a greater unity. The king function is to transcend tribe. The life of Paul Muad’Dib on Arrakis tells this story, straddling the line between religious belief and political cynicism, by making it all a love story in the end.
The King is what the Platonists – following Socrates – thought of as the Invisible Sun, the Sun of Reason. Sol Invictus. This is the figure Claudius pretends to in these lines:
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane
And lose your voice. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
I offended Her in the last episode – and by Her, I do not mean Hillary. I mean my current Muse. I think it was when I characterized Her as
…living between dissolution in absolute ambivalence and death on a battlefield fighting somebody else’s war.
I don’t know for sure, as we haven’t spoken about it, but that’s my guess. It would make sense, too, because this pain in her perfectly mirrors the pain she touched on in me. The pain that I was acting out of, and seeking to address in the last episode, MUSE EFFECT #1: In Search of the Last VCR.
The truth is, we’re both stuck in a pretty bleak – if romantically potent – world, albeit different ones. Worlds that have somehow been brought into contact with one another, and bridged (at least for a moment) by the Power of The Beatles. We’re both stuck in the hopeless way we see the world and ourselves, by an inability to understand any other way to be. And I mean “understand” in the way defined above. That is: for real.
We both fantasize about giving our lives to a worthwhile cause. Mine’s just in my head, while her’s is in Kurdistan.
And yet there are between us these flashes of tantalizing possibility, that we might make the revolution real, right here and now. All you need is love. Granted, I’m more consciously accepting of these possibilities; though she has, too, in her own less than conscious way. We are experiencing love in the friendzone. Which is to say, we share an experience of connection on a deep level, but in the mirror of time and space, things look wrong.
I am much too old, and she is much too young. I can’t be stoned and drunk that much. It is a short path to an early grave, and not the death I want to wake up in. I am, rather, as the song says
Looking for a hard-headed woman
One who will make me do my best
Because I can’t let go of the belief that my best is still a possibility, and not just a regret. And she doesn’t really see me that way. She’s not so mean-spirited as to deny me the chance to flower, but deep down, she thinks that chance is just a dream I’m holding onto… and maybe I’d be happier if I got around to waking up.
Both of us believe we can, or at least should, do better. But we’re pretty good at getting high and listening to The Beatles.